Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%. The underlying picture still seems to be very much one of Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck, with Labour perhaps slightly ahead. I’ll do a fuller update tomorrow when the tables are published.


87 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 38, LAB 39, LDEM 9”

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  1. @SocialLiberal, on Cyprus
    Actually Cyprus is no more communist than UK or Germany. It is a free market country with free elections and multi-party system, a member of Eurozone and a follower of strict budgetary discipline. The fact that one of its two major parties has communist roots is due to historical reasons linked to the situation that prevailed in the island in the years prior to independence from UK. Then the main liberation movement, EOKA, was led by a hardline right-winger, the (in)famous Grivas, who fought not for independence per se, but for union (“enosis”) with the Greek authoritarian regime in a unified ultra-nationalist state. So all progressives who wanted independence but opposed this scheme joined the communist party AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People). When in government, AKEL is always allied with social democrats and/or centrists and liberals (the Commissioner of Cyprus in EU is a liberal lady) and its policies are rather centrist or even center-right by today’s standards. I must also admit that the right has also evolved into a democratic center-right party, with the ultra-nationalists being a tiny fraction. As for the ID card control, this is common also in Greece, France and Belgium (I have personally experienced it in all three countries), but no one would say that these are authoritarian states.
    On another topic, I am pleased to see that Obama is recovering and is now ahead of all his potential rivals for the PE of November.

  2. Martyn/Hannah,
    ATTAD and ATTUK have 2 different purposes
    ATTAD is just fun and actually came about when Lab had a bigger lead and a few ‘coalition’ posters used to say there was more suppprt for the the governing parties combined than for the opposition.
    (Amber coined the acronym ironically)
    As you say it is flawed and pretty much meaningless in a FPTP system.

    ATTUK on the other hand is based on the belief that at a GE most UKIP support will transfer to the most Eurosceptic party, the conservartives. There will be perhaps 2% UKIP in a GE so full ATTUK is not right but ATTUKE2P (E2P being except 2%) is a not very catchy.

    As my back-ground shows I an LP supporter (in fact member) but I believe that if the 1% Lab lead was totally accurate with UKIP on 5% we would in fact end up with a 2% or so Conservative lead just due to this effect.

    As a complicating thought UKIP supporters in safe seats will be more likely to stick with them so the Conservaryive gain in marginal seats may well be even higher proportionately.

  3. From the (Hate) Mail on Sunday

    Joking how he and wife Samantha had struggled to get to the fundraising bash, Mr Cameron said: ‘We were really worried we’d be late this evening. The traffic was terrible.
    ‘So we had to speed to get here on time. It’s a good job Samantha was driving – or at least, that’s what it says on the forms!’

  4. Delighted to open my ST & read DC standing firm on Lansley & NHS reform.

    It is the right thing to do because :-

    * Any loss of popularity because of concerns about the Bill, will simply be compounded if it is ditched & Labour are gifted an open goal.
    * Reform of the NHS is necessary .
    * DC is at his best when fighting back.

    One article in one newspaper is not enough though.

    If DC is going to take some ownership of this policy , he needs to bang on about it relentlessly.

    He could read today’s YouGov Poll, put Abu Qatada on a plane & get a Veto MK2 VI boost.

    :-)

  5. ALEC

    @” I suspect there is underlying movement, but Labour is not yet capable of exploiting this.”

    Right. :-) :-) :-) :-)

  6. ‘I think with any luck the Tories may have bottomed out on the NHS row.
    It’s just got so silly and hysterical, with people opposing it for narrow political advantage, without any understanding of why they are against it,
    that the public will realise that.

    Provided the Conservatives make the case for it clearly – the power is going downwards to give you the patient, and your GP a bit more control over your services. It’s free at the point of use, but this will lever higher standards into the hospitals. Also we want to save £5bn getting rid of PCTs.

    The NHS doesn’t belong to the left or to the unions – it’s for the patients.

    The Government should say bluntly that they believe these changes are necessary, in toto to get you a better service at a price the country can afford,
    or you can stop us doing it and there will be a cost.’

    Deeply patronising comments there, personally I agree with Richard’s views on the Morley and Outwood thread.
    If what you say is true then why did Cameron pledge to ringfence the NHS, the tories should be cutting it?!

  7. A CAIRNS

    @”I agree with Richard’s views on the Morley and Outwood thread.”

    Mmmm-cut the pay of the professionals in NHS.

    Well given the cock-up of the GP contract under Labour , and Oborne’s claim in DT * that “According to some estimates, barely a quarter ( of Brown’s spending splurge) went on patient care, with much of the remainder squandered on massive pay increases and the creation of an even more monolithic bureaucracy”; Richard might have a point.

    But it wouldn’t address productivity & efficiency.

    *
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/9075830/David-Cameron-should-stand-by-his-courageous-health-minister.html

  8. I just can’t understand the logic of ringfencing the NHS in England and then going for some expensive/bureaucratic restructuring!

  9. Two layers of management will go-PCTs & SHAs, to be replaced by GP consortia.

    So the admin gets closer to the patient.

    But I agree that the mangling which the Bill has received in Parliament, has resulted in other quangos appearing.

    I doubt if many people really understand how the new structure now looks……….but how many people could have told you where their PCT or SHA offices are-or who the key staff were-or what they did?

    I think Oborne is right about Lansley-his strengths are his deep[ knowledge of NHS, & his bravery.

    But that has left a gaping hole for someone to positively communicate this change in terms which can be understood at a fairly superficial level.

  10. Interesting ! Cabinet minister obtains injunction.

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/234953/We-are-gagged-by-Cabinet-MP/

  11. @ SocalLiberal

    Re: ID and Police checks for illegal Workers.

    If everyone had an ID card for all legal citizens and all legal immigrants then all questions of identification would be easily solved. People understand and accept that drivers should have to produce a driver’s licence to prove they are entitled to drive ie. have passed the relevant driving test for that class of vehicle and have not been banned from driving. I see little difference with the driving licence for proof of driving legality and an ID card for proof of who a person actually is. Similarly I see no objection to legal immigrants proving they have a legal entitlement to work in the form of a work permit. Since countries have borders and controls to ostensible ensure only entitled persons are in the country, that only entitled people have the right to work, that only entitled people are eligible to state provided benefits, that only entitled people are eligible to vote, then it is reasonable that proof of identity and proof of eligibility should be verifiable when claiming access to state run or sponsored facilities.

    In the States if you have a gun, it requires to be registered. The police have the duty and right to stop anyone with a gun and verify that it is properly licenced. The police have a duty to uphold the laws, irrespective of colour, creed, religious belief etc.

    “It is designed to target Latinos, some who may be immigrants (many legal) and some who may not be. What does an illegal immigrant look like?”

    Your comment has actually shown the futility of your own argument. You clearly accept that the only way to check if a person is legal or has a work permit is by having a check on the relevant documents. Clearly also you are against any such checks. Hence you must believe that everyone has the right to be in the USA, the right to work, the right to claim US benefits and the right to use US state facilities. You clearly must therefore be against any form of border controls and any form of a work permit system. For you nobody can be illegal and nobody can be a illegal worker. For you the USA police seem racist and threatening. I have not been to the USA, but that is not the impression I have got from my contacts there or from the relatives I have living in the States.

    ” I enjoy living in a free society where individuals have freedom of movement and freedom to exist without police harassment for no reason. ”

    So if the police are looking for a certain person of a certain description, they have no right to stop and question people fitting that description, unless that person was themselves committing an offence? Any illegal person is committing an offence surely? When do police check is a person has a work permit – when they are walking down the street, when they are sitting in a cafe or is it when they are ‘working’ ie actually committing an offence? If the police see someone with a gun on the streets, do they have to wait for the person to commit another unrelated offence before they can stop and question?

    “Mind you, the law has created a flight of Latinos into other neighboring states which has hurt Arizona’s economy greatly.”

    Was the ‘flight of latinos’ of legal or of illegal immigrants – I suspect the latter? Do illegals pay taxes? Are illegals not usually exploited with low wages and poor conditions by employers? Why should you object to employers being discouraged from exploiting illegals?

    Proof of ID for voting. So make photo inclusive ID card mandatory for all state facilities/benefits etc. and cheap enough for all to afford. Means test it if necessary and free for those unable to pay. Make an ID card the norm to acquire and then identification problems resolved. I do not accept that ID checking for eligibility to vote actually “targets the poor and minorities”, unless you are saying that people currently voting illegally are generally the “poor and minorities”.

  12. @Colin – “DC is at his best when fighting back.”

    This should be great for him then.

    Gary Gibbon makes the point that Cameron is having to be “his own health secretary”, because Landsley can’t cope with the politics, and he will have to continue to be so for the forseeable future… very possibly all the way to the next election – by which time he will be firmly associated in the public mind with a reform programme “so large it can be seen from outer space”.

    Scope for serious problems with the health proffessionals so overwhelmingly opposed:

    h
    ttp://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100134154/lansleys-nhs-bill-is-unnecessary-incomprehensible-and-possibly-illegal-other-than-that-its-great/

    Cameron and Clegg wrote the forward to the bill in July 2010 without having read it… so Landsley used to be Cameron’s boss – there must be more to it than that.

  13. R Huckle

    1 It was her son
    2 A judge decided it was more muckraking and invasion of his privacy than public interest. It’s crappy papers and journalism like this that led to the whole phone hacking culture in the red tops to begin with and of course the readers who delight in such stories.

  14. A poll in the Sunday Times shows only 18% support for the NHS bill.

    Surely this is the very moment the LibDems have been waiting for?

    If they ‘pull the plug’ on the coalition they can claim to have “saved the NHS”. And so, presumably, restore some of their reputation.

  15. The health bill will be the death knell for the Tories.This party objected to the formation of the NHS in all 3 votes going through parliament at it’s formation.Now you have them without a mandate pushing an unwanted bill through HofC ,once on the statute books it will be Labours to punch the Conservatives with for the remainder of the governance.The back benchers are starting to squirm at the thought of retoxification.If i where Ed Milliband i would sit back and wait for the car crash,then come in and pick up the pieces.This is going to be bigger then the poll tax,your health is more important then any amount of money.

  16. Could Ed miliband become the next PM by Labour voters just voting for there party.Is it a person vote or a party vote ,i don’t understand why he should not be able to govern because he has a lisp or is not a looker.Seems a bit shallow to rule him out on the basis of looks ,but thats the way the x-factor culture.Labour are going through a policy review so why would they be publishing policies before the review.He is far more intelligent then Cameron so i would imagine there will be plenty of thought behind the policies before there released.

  17. @Joe James B – “I think with any luck the Tories may have bottomed out on the NHS row…….
    Provided the Conservatives make the case for it clearly – the power is going downwards to give you the patient, and your GP a bit more control over your services. It’s free at the point of use, but this will lever higher standards into the hospitals. Also we want to save £5bn getting rid of PCTs.”

    I think you are being characteristically optimistic there. All the signs are that internal conflict, right up to cabinet level, is fierce and getting fiercer. Andrew Rawnsley is quoting unnamed research that apparently shows fear for the NHS was a key reason why some swing voters stayed away from Cameron in 2010 and that this cost them a majority, and while I don’t know how genuine this claim is, it’s no doubt that this is what Cameron’s MPs are thinking. They don’t see him as a winner, and they are looking after their own interests.

    As for the £5b savings, when you get such respected and non partisan former Tory health ministers such as Stephen Dorrel saying he is concerned that the changes could end up increasing management costs, Tories really should be worried.

  18. Good morning everyone. Just readying myself for a few lunchtime pints to prepare for the trip (pilgrimage?) to Villa Park this afternoon to watch our expected drubbing at the hands on Man City. I go with zero expectations although, if the beer is particularly good, I may foresee/hallucinate a Villa 4-0 win by kick off time!!

    I watched the Andrew Marr show this morning and was mightily impressed with Andy Burnham’s performance when interviewed by Marr. Doesn’t it make a difference to see and hear a politician speak passionately and sincerely, as well as articulately, about an issue? Unlike the usual slick rendition of pre-prepared empty soundbites that now seem to pass for political discussion, I saw real feeling and anger in Burnham’s eyes, and heard sincerity in his voice, and he was all the more convincing and persuasive for it. He even quoted Nye Bevan, the founder of the NHS, and that’s always good for getting my political sap rising on a cold Sunday morning!

    Talking of Nye, I loved that quote of his from long ago when he was asked about how he had managed to get the BMA on board with the creation of the NHS after they had implacably and vehemently opposed it. He replied; “I stuffed their mouths with gold!”.

    Maybe some advice in there for Lansley and Cameron as they survey the wreckage of their Health Reforms and the BMA’s current antipathy towards them!!lol

  19. There’s an interesting piece about Andy Burnham in the IoS as well, if Crossbat is interested.

  20. Clegg is having a hard time making this being in power thing work, isn’t he?

    Poor bloke was flayed alive by his own Party for supporting the Tories’ approach to the NHS. Now that there is a head of steam built up against the Bill, how can he join the move to kill the Bill without looking like a flip-flopper or an unprincipled chancer?

  21. @Virgilio

    ‘free market country’ – err not quite, that is why the EU is taking Cyprus to the EU courts because its legislation still allows many restrictive practices.

    ‘free elections and multi-party system” – free in the sense we don’t pay it. More like an elected Dictatorship than a Democracy. The Govt refuses to allow the Turkish Cypriot electoral register and therefore there are no MPs for the Turkish Cypriots in Parliament. It was not until EU and court pressures that Turkish Cypriots living legally within the Republic were allowed to be included on the Greek Cypriot voter register and therefore able to vote fir the first time since 1962. Within our ‘democracy’ the President has absolute power and appoints all ministers. Ministers are not members of Parliament. The President and ministers have powers to ignore laws if necessary. The President and Ministers are in no way responsible to Parliament.

    “A member of Eurozone” – for how long if Greece is forced to leave.

    “A follower of strict budgetary discipline” You really must be joking!

    EOKA, was led by its Commander in Chief Archbishop Makarios who personally approved all civic actions such a bombings, kidnappings and murders during the terrorist insurgency/freedom fighters campaign during the 1950s and many of the anti Turkish Cypriot actions committed after independence.

    I would hesitate to classify those that wanted independence as ‘progressives’ – many hankered for a return to the Hellensitic era of 2500 years ago when the Greek culture was completely dominant. Many wanted the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of all Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus. Only the safeguards enshrined within the 1960 Constitution protected such Turkish Cypriot rights.

    The AKEL led Govt policies can hardly be described as rather ‘centrist or even center-right by today’s standards’, unless of course you you means in comparison to Marzist or Leninist extreme of communism. The current economy is totally reliant upon billions of Russian loans to stay solvent and over 40% of the deposits in Cypriot banks come from Russia. The current govt does nothing which might upset either Russia or its supporter states such as Syria and Iran. Hence it recently released a ship found carrying illegal arms bound for Syria rather than fulfilling its UN and International treaty obligations of detaining the ship and crew.

    I do however completely agree with you ID card comments.

  22. It is starting to look like Lansley’s much lauded ‘deep involvement’ with the planning, and his ‘extensive work on crafting the reforms’, as well as his ‘in depth knowledge of the NHS’ all appear to have been spin. The true origin of the reforms apparently being health industry consulting firm McKinsey who provided draft texts that went directly into the bill unrevised. And there appears to have been a lot of money passing towards McKinsey, as well as McKinsey employees becoming NHS Public Servants, and McKinsey paying for expensive flights and hotel rooms and trips to the Cirque du Soleil…

    Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee to call for an inquiry into McKinsey’s involvement.

    There does seem to be a developing pattern around those DC gives his full confidence to…

  23. Crossbat
    “Maybe some advice in there for Lansley and Cameron as they survey the wreckage of their Health Reforms and the BMA’s current antipathy towards them!!lol”

    I though Gordon already did that when he increased their pay to over £100k in the new contract, introduced a few years ago; in return for ? er zilch. Oh! no weekend cover.

    As for Burnham, I don’t agree with your analysis. There were so many misleading statements in that interview. Burnham did mor to introduce privatisation in the NHS than Lansley’s bill is doing & he & his co-ministers had about 7 reorganisations of the NHS whilst in power, none of which achieved much, except the clever management of targets to make it look as if they were achieving things. (Trolleys in corridors, etc etc).

  24. @ Robert Newark

    Burnham did more to introduce privatisation in the NHS than Lansley’s bill is doing..
    ———————————————————-
    I don’t believe that’s correct. You need to keep in mind that Andy Burnham was not Health Secretary throughout the Blair years; he was frequently criticised by his predecessor for having slammed the brakes on & actually reversed some of the previous NHS reforms.

    Andy B is acknowledged as having made a success of his role at culture, media & sport; he was also well thought of for his handling of the NHS brief. Do you really think that it is just a coincidence that AB replacing John Healey has made such a huge difference to the public profile of the NHS reforms & that many medical organisations, together with some of the ‘traditionally Tory’ media are now voicing opposition to them?

    The only comfort that those on the right can take, is that Labour were not smart enough to elect him as leader. He is very popular with the media & I cannot imagine that he would have faced the onslaught which has been visited on Ed Miliband.
    8-)

  25. Two observations…

    “In an angry meeting at No?10, [DC] thumped the table as he vowed to press ahead with the changes…”

    Oh dear. All the signs of a man under stress. We are seeing I suggest the first real crisis of this Gov. And true to form DC reverts to what might be perceived as bullying – surely this behaviour is out of place for a PM even in Cabinet?

    And for all the suggestions that DC is attuned to/with public mood, he is surely very out of sync with it now.

    Regrettably, DC seems more concerned about looking weak by doing a(nother) u-turn rather than being pragmatic.

    I have previously suggested this, but I am minded that DC wants to achieve something Mrs T didn’t – the restructuring of the NHS so that heathcare is no longer a state role and it is fully privatised. DC wants his place in Tory history.

  26. AMBER
    I stand corrected re AB but the point remains that Labour created much privatisation in the NHS (not wrong in my view), I think too many (on both sides of the fence), get too hung up about public v private). and are either for or against, as if it is some kind of religion. In France some health provision is covered by private enterprises but there is no distinction by the GP when he refers you, or by the health authorities when they reimburse you. It just works & seems to be apolitical, as health cover should be.

    I understand what you mean about Burnham v EM being perceived by the public as a better leader. He is certainly ‘normal’ but I’m not convinced he has the charisma that a good leader needs. But he is young, his time may well come. William Haigh would have done well to have waited – he blew it by being too eager, as of course did GB.

    However, you can’t get away from the fact that much of the hype about this body & that are against the bill. As far as I’m aware, there has been no secret ballot of Doctors, or other health professionals, or even a scientific poll conducted of same. The polls that have been done have been anything but scientific! Lets remember that the BMA were against the creation of the NHS & virtually every change since. Lawyers were against changes in the legal profession & plenty of interested parties were against ‘Big Bang’ in the City when it happened.
    What gives me hope is that, though the problems have been caused by Lansley’s hopeless inability to sell the benefits, he is is a very clever guy who has been working on this for 6 years. It wasn’t suddenly dreamt up one weekend. Yes its a risk for the Tories but if health outcomes are better , or even no worse by the time of the GE, then Labour will have a hard job attacking them on it.

    Mike N

    “In an angry meeting at No?10, [DC] thumped the table as he vowed to press ahead with the changes…”

    No mention of mobile phones though :)

  27. @ Frank G

    “If everyone had an ID card for all legal citizens and all legal immigrants then all questions of identification would be easily solved. People understand and accept that drivers should have to produce a driver’s licence to prove they are entitled to drive ie. have passed the relevant driving test for that class of vehicle and have not been banned from driving. I see little difference with the driving licence for proof of driving legality and an ID card for proof of who a person actually is. Similarly I see no objection to legal immigrants proving they have a legal entitlement to work in the form of a work permit. Since countries have borders and controls to ostensible ensure only entitled persons are in the country, that only entitled people have the right to work, that only entitled people are eligible to state provided benefits, that only entitled people are eligible to vote, then it is reasonable that proof of identity and proof of eligibility should be verifiable when claiming access to state run or sponsored facilities.

    In the States if you have a gun, it requires to be registered. The police have the duty and right to stop anyone with a gun and verify that it is properly licenced. The police have a duty to uphold the laws, irrespective of colour, creed, religious belief etc.”

    No, the police do not have that duty and do not have that right. A police officer can stop you if that officer has reasonable articulable suspicion that you are engaged in some kind of criminal activity. A police officer can then pat you down if there is reasonable articulable suspicion to believe that you’re armed. And it’s a pat down, not a grope fest.

    The police can ask for a driver’s license if they’ve pulled you over for a driving infraction or if they have reasonable articulable suspicion that you’re engaged in criminal activity. They have a reason to do so. But otherwise, they can’t just pull you over to ask you for your ID.

    Employers are required by the federal government to check for proper documentation of workers when they hire people. But being told by an employer that you’ll have to provide documentation in order to work for them is a lot different from being required to identify by the government.

    Additionally, that’s different from being stopped by the police. The police cannot just stop you any time they feel like it.

  28. @ Frank G

    “Your comment has actually shown the futility of your own argument. You clearly accept that the only way to check if a person is legal or has a work permit is by having a check on the relevant documents. Clearly also you are against any such checks. Hence you must believe that everyone has the right to be in the USA, the right to work, the right to claim US benefits and the right to use US state facilities. You clearly must therefore be against any form of border controls and any form of a work permit system. For you nobody can be illegal and nobody can be a illegal worker. For you the USA police seem racist and threatening. I have not been to the USA, but that is not the impression I have got from my contacts there or from the relatives I have living in the States.”

    No. My dad was a police officer for nearly two decades and I don’t find all police officers to be racist and threatening. But we know that some are. And we know the Arizona Legislature assumed as much when they made their law. My point is a pretty simple one. You typically can’t tell if someone is an illegal immigrant just by looking at them. Therefore if you instruct officers that they may go stop anyone who they think is an illegal, you are asking officers to create their own criteria for what they think an illegal immigrant looks like. What does an illegal immigrant look like? A Latino.

  29. @ Frank G

    “So if the police are looking for a certain person of a certain description, they have no right to stop and question people fitting that description, unless that person was themselves committing an offence? Any illegal person is committing an offence surely? When do police check is a person has a work permit – when they are walking down the street, when they are sitting in a cafe or is it when they are ‘working’ ie actually committing an offence? If the police see someone with a gun on the streets, do they have to wait for the person to commit another unrelated offence before they can stop and question?”

    The police can stop people of a certain description but that’s a hell of a lot different from just being able to stop anyone they think is an illegal immigrant. Police officers can stop people when they have reasonable articulable suspicion that they have committed a crime. That means the person is either in the act of committing a crime or has just immediately committed a crime. They’re not allowed to just stop anyone they feel like. And there has to be an actual reason for doing so.

    In a state like Arizona where gun usage is pretty high, it’s not unsual for a person to be carrying a gun. I don’t think that would be an appropriate reason for a police officer to stop someone.

    A person here illegally is technically not committing an offense at the state level because states can’t regulate or police immigration.

    The police don’t check for work permits. It’s not part of their job description (nor should it be).

    The LAPD has a policy of not reporting anyone they discover to be here illegally. It’s been in place since 1979. The police are not in the business of deportation. If the LAPD finds out someone is here illegally whether they’re a suspect or someone they pull over for an infraction or a witness or a victim, they don’t report that. It’s helped keep crime down dramatically.

  30. Socal
    ” The police cannot just stop you any time they feel like it.”

    They can in France, & they do. Until 2 years ago, Gendarmes were a para military organisation. They are civillian now but you argue with them at your peril. They are armed and still have their trousers tucked into their boots and make British police look positively cuddley. They accept my photo UK driving licence as an ID card and of course you must produce that & your car documents, on demand, or pay the on the spot fine.

    Having said all that, I have no problem with random stopping. Only those with something to hide have anything to worry about & of course they are the ones who make a song a dance about it, as they did about ID cards.

  31. @ Frank G

    “Was the ‘flight of latinos’ of legal or of illegal immigrants – I suspect the latter? Do illegals pay taxes? Are illegals not usually exploited with low wages and poor conditions by employers? Why should you object to employers being discouraged from exploiting illegals?

    Proof of ID for voting. So make photo inclusive ID card mandatory for all state facilities/benefits etc. and cheap enough for all to afford. Means test it if necessary and free for those unable to pay. Make an ID card the norm to acquire and then identification problems resolved. I do not accept that ID checking for eligibility to vote actually “targets the poor and minorities”, unless you are saying that people currently voting illegally are generally the “poor and minorities”.”

    First of all, your eligibility to vote is that you are a citizen of the United States who is 18 years of age. There are no other requirements. (Well there are the various felony requirements that differ in every state and that’s another issue that’s going to eventually have to be dealt with but that’s a side issue). Pretty radical. Now, if you are registered to vote, you had to provide some proof of your identity to do so in the first place. There are plenty of ways to ask for identification of those who register to vote when they register and those methods do not include photo id.

    No one has proposed making photo IDs inclusive who has also proposed these laws. There’s a reason for that. They want to restrict people from voting.

    There is no system of national photo ID cards (and many people don’t want them).

    You can accept or not accept whatever you want but government issued photo IDs are not uniformly held by everyone. In fact, a lot of illegal immigrants have government issued photo IDs (so that they can get employed and drive cars, etc.). Who doesn’t have government issued photo IDs? People who are poor and people who are minorities. It’s established fact and it’s
    exactly why these laws were enacted in the first place.

    As for Arizona, when you can be pulled over and asked for your proof of citizenship because of the color of your skin, you’re likely to leave the state even though you are a legal immigrant or you’re a citizen who’s been here for several generations.

    I don’t support exploitation of illegal immigrants. It’s happenned more than a few times. In fact, I knew of an employer who was an avacado farmer who only employed illegal immigrants. Then right before pay day, he’d call in the INS to raid his farm and take all the illegals away. He might have to pay a fine but he would rake in a whole lot of extra profit on not having to pay his workers. But as I’ve explained before, allowing the police to stop people to ask for their papers is very different from requiring that employers hire only people here legally.

    And FYI, illegal immigrants do pay taxes.

  32. @ Virgilio

    “Actually Cyprus is no more communist than UK or Germany. It is a free market country with free elections and multi-party system, a member of Eurozone and a follower of strict budgetary discipline. The fact that one of its two major parties has communist roots is due to historical reasons linked to the situation that prevailed in the island in the years prior to independence from UK. Then the main liberation movement, EOKA, was led by a hardline right-winger, the (in)famous Grivas, who fought not for independence per se, but for union (“enosis”) with the Greek authoritarian regime in a unified ultra-nationalist state. So all progressives who wanted independence but opposed this scheme joined the communist party AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People). When in government, AKEL is always allied with social democrats and/or centrists and liberals (the Commissioner of Cyprus in EU is a liberal lady) and its policies are rather centrist or even center-right by today’s standards. I must also admit that the right has also evolved into a democratic center-right party, with the ultra-nationalists being a tiny fraction. As for the ID card control, this is common also in Greece, France and Belgium (I have personally experienced it in all three countries), but no one would say that these are authoritarian states.
    On another topic, I am pleased to see that Obama is recovering and is now ahead of all his potential rivals for the PE of November.”

    I don’t think Greece, France, or Belgium are authoritarian states. National ID cards and forced identification requirements do strike me as authoritarian. I do not like them and I would oppose them.

    I’m not saying Cyprus is a communist state (I didn’t think it was). I was just pointing out that I would not vote for a Communist and forced identification statutes and statutes allowing the police to randomly stop you are a reason (just one of many) as to why.

  33. @ Chris Lane

    “In terms of children being without good food here in England, was the context of comments about Parents being able to desert their young children to be ‘happy’ so incomes and capital are halved.”

    I think it’s a shame when anyone, let alone a child, goes hungry. But that doesn’t happen because of divorce. I went to a private prep elitist high school (not a pleasant experience) where I think the divorce rate among parents was 40% or higher. None of those kids went hungry or without care.

    Splitting up in a divorce is different from abandoning young children. That’s why though there are divorce proceedings and things like custody arrangements, child support, and spousal support (I assume you have these things in the UK too….or perhaps they go by different names as I’ve learned quite frequently here).

  34. @ Robert Newark

    “They can in France, & they do. Until 2 years ago, Gendarmes were a para military organisation. They are civillian now but you argue with them at your peril. They are armed and still have their trousers tucked into their boots and make British police look positively cuddley. They accept my photo UK driving licence as an ID card and of course you must produce that & your car documents, on demand, or pay the on the spot fine.”

    See this reminds me of a criticism I have of American Liberals for often being way too melodramatic. I’m not running away to France or Canada just because a Republican wins the White House. Things are far less liberal and far less free in foreign countries.

    I know about the gendarmes being a para military organization. They do make the English police look cuddly. I find it uncomfortable being in Paris train stations and airports and seeing these officers stand around with fully loaded assault weapons. It’s even more annerving that until recently, the CRS officers were allowed to drink at lunch and when that was taken away, they were up in arms. Assault weapons and beer are generally not a good mix.

    “Having said all that, I have no problem with random stopping. Only those with something to hide have anything to worry about & of course they are the ones who make a song a dance about it, as they did about ID cards.”

    Oh please. Believing in individual freedom and liberty and defending constitutional rights does not make one a criminal.

  35. Socal
    “Things are far less liberal and far less free in foreign countries.”

    Only an American could have said that in all seriousness and kept a straight face. :) Guantanamo Bay?

    It’s quiet on here tonight, is everyone celebrating/commiserating the 6 Nations Rugby results?

  36. @ Robert Newark

    “Only an American could have said that in all seriousness and kept a straight face. :) Guantanamo Bay?”

    What does Guantanamo Bay got to do with anything?

    My point about Liberals getting a little too uptight has to do with the fact that we will cry and whine and threaten to move to Canada and complain about any judicial decision that restricts our 1st, 4th, or 5th Amendment rights. Any bad decision suddenly turns us into a “police state” or a “totalitarian state.” Yet these same people don’t seem to understand that these same freedoms and rights don’t exist at all in any other countries, including numerous western democracies. We complain about a right being limited…where you still have a right….and others don’t. I’m in agreement that I don’t like certain decisions but I think people go too far and too hyperbolistic in their criticism.

    You know, I saw police cars a few times today but this time really noticed them. I felt a little bit of pride in knowing that they wouldn’t stop and harass me and they wouldn’t just stop me randomly and ask for my papers. I normally take this freedom for granted. So thanks for that.

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